14 July 2020 | Story Rulanzen Martin | Photo Sonia du Toit (Kaleidoscope Studio)
Prof Hussein Solomon was recently appointed as visiting professor to Osaka University.

With an appointment as visiting professor to Osaka University (OSU) in Japan, Prof Hussein Solomon is reaping the academic collaborative fruits of a decade-long MoU between Osaka University in Japan and Department of Political Science at the University of the Free State (UFS).

Prof Solomon is a leading expert on Islamic extremism in Africa. He is also a senior lecturer and acting Head of the Department of Political Studies and Governance at the UFS. 

“As part of this MoU I am in involved on a research project with the Osaka School of International Public Policy on Southern African peace and security,” says Prof Solomon. He added: “I am also expected to co-supervise some doctoral students of theirs and they will in turn return the favour.”

MoU facilitates sharing of knowledge 

The MoU is as part of the establishment of the Southern African Centre for Collaboration on Peace Studies (SACCP) in 2010. The SACCP brings together academics, security experts and the general public to share ideas and knowledge through the facilitation of conferences aimed at both researchers and practitioners, academic exchanges within the region and joint research projects. 

The SACCP founding members are from the UFS, OSU, Osaka School of International Public Policy on Southern African peace and security, the Japan Society for the promotion of science, the University of Zambia, the Zambian Open University, and the Mozambique-Tanzania Centre for Foreign Relations. The operation of the centre is currently through a blog, conferences, workshops, and an online journal.  

“Through the SACCP we have regular conferences, seminars and publications,” says Prof Solomon. He adds there is staff and postgraduate mobility between the institutions and that frequent co-supervision of doctoral students takes place “ in an effort to build capacity between the universities”. The organisation also hosts annual workshops at the UFS and Osaka.  

Prof Solomon and Prof Virgil Hawkins from the Osaka School of International Public Policy on Southern African peace and security co-edits a journal on Southern African Peace and Security Studies.

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